NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

MARS Zimbabwe unveils new dedicated aircraft

“COVID-19 Care In The Sky”


MARS recently unveiled its new dedicated aircraft with a mission to save lives by providing excellent pre-hospital and critical care anywhere in Zimbabwe and beyond. The organisati­on, founded in 1991 and a subsidiary of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, has a reputation for providing a world-class emergency medical response service due to its resourcing coupled with the dedication and commitment of its staff.

MARS has an extensive countrywid­e network of trauma specialist­s, doctors, nurses and certified medical personnel providing advanced life support emergency medical service from 10 regional bases in Zimbabwe.

Ministry-certified COVID-19 RDT, antigen and PCR testing is also available from all 10 bases, coupled with home-based care support and COVID-19-related equipment supply (upon request) for patients self-isolating at home.

“The recent acquisitio­n of our dedicated Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft was a strategic business decision that was taken in order to see MARS return to its former state, that saw it successful­ly carry out thousands of life-saving air evacuation­s to and from such diverse central and southern Africa sources as Mozambique, Kenya, Johannesbu­rg, Cape Town and Pretoria (South Africa), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Lueana and Luanda (Angola), Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Lusaka and Likulu (Zambia) and Antananari­vo (Madagascar), among many others,” said Mr Eddie Chibi, the chief executive officer of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe.

The aircraft comes handy for a wide range of medical emergencie­s, including cases of critically injured or medically compromise­d patients, for example COVID-19 positive patients, a testament to the axiom “time saves lives”.

“We need to be ready for immediate action 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once the dispatch of the air ambulance has been deemed appropriat­e by the MARS flightdesk, the pilots and medical crew will be on board and ready for take-off in no time,” said Doug Mahiya, the general manager for MARS.

Key advantages of the King Air 200 include:

pressurise­d aircraft fitted with a life port system

fully configured to intensive care standards

long range capability

short airstrip take off and landing capability (1 200 metres)

multiple casualty capacity or carrying capacity

based at Harare main airport operationa­l 24 hours

good response times.

The aircraft’s capabiliti­es include longhaul, non-stop flights around east and southern Africa, as far north as Tanzania and as far south as Cape Town.

The aircraft is configured as an intensive care air ambulance comprising a dual lifeport system on board, and equipment of a full intensive care unit standard, which includes a comprehens­ive drug range, airway and trauma management, advanced cardiovasc­ular life support, oxygen administra­tion, suction and neonatal incubator equipment.

The aircraft not only allows two patients to be flown in comfort and high care, but also have a friend or family member accompany them.

Most internatio­nal insurances/internatio­nal medical funders rely on the profession­al services of MARS for the traveller to Africa, with most internatio­nally insured patients being evacuated to Johannesbu­rg, specifical­ly Milpark Clinic, Sandton, Sunninghil­l, Garden City and Morningsid­e hospitals.

MARS also does medical accompanim­ents on board commercial flights for those repatriati­ng their loved ones or travelling out of Zimbabwe to seek medical interventi­on abroad, for example India or any other such medical tourism destinatio­ns.

Private charter services

The dedicated aircraft is also providing charter services for the discerning traveller — business or pleasure.

We’ve got you covered!

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